Ozark, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Parkview track duo of AJ Green and Chris Hargrove is a hard one to beat, as the two each collected four bids to the state track meet in Jefferson City, Mo. May 24-25.
Of the two, Green is the outspoken one who leads their 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 meter relays with ‘words of wisdom’ before each and every race.
“During our warm-ups, AJ often motivates us about what it takes to be successful,” said Hargrove. “He tells us what we need to accomplish and be focused on, instead of being caught up in the moment. He brings whatever to your attention faster than I ever would.”
After winning the state championship in the 4 x 100 meter relay last season, the Viking squad looks to repeat yet again with the addition of Maurice Downey and Brandon Huddleston.
“It really does give us a chance at redemption,” said Hargrove. “We know what it takes and the type of competition we would be faced with at the state meet. Having that win under our belt gives us a better outlook on what we have to do, the times we have to hit, and the attitude we have to have going into the race.”
Hargrove swept both the 100 and 200 meter dashes, as Green finished first in the long jump over Carthage’s EJ Morgan by a margin of one foot and seven inches.
“I was just in one of those jumping moods today,” said Green. “Things were going my way. I had the wind in my back and a full shot heading down the runway. All I had to do was execute and get my technique down.”
Parkview’s 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 meter relays finished in second place, as Green also qualified in the 100 meter dash.
“We still have a lot of work between now and state next weekend,” said Green. “If you slack in practice, it’s going to show on that track. We have a whole week to prepare and we must stay aggressive in the hunt for first place.”
Republic freshman excels at sectionals
Remember the name Brooke Stanfield, because this Republic Lady Tiger qualified in all four of her respective events as only a freshman at the Class 4 Sectionals in Ozark.
“State is a big deal, and I have to make sure I run like I always do,” said Stanfield. “Overall, I think my freshman track season has gone pretty good.”
Stanfield first took the gold in the 400 meter dash, while finishing third in the 100 meter dash and fourth in the high jump.
“I wasn’t quite sure how many of my events I was going to qualify in, my goal was to at least get to state in one,” said Stanfield. “Now that I made it in my first three events, I have to qualify in the last one.”
The freshman then went on to win the 200 meter dash over Springfield Central’s Jaslyn Williams by a time of 25.75.
“I just want to do my best heading into next weekend,” said Stanfield. “I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m going to give it my all like I always do.”
Haik en route for state title
Long distance running isn’t easy, but Glendale’s Spencer Haik sure makes it look that way.
Haik is one of the best 1600 meter runners in the nation, proving himself after winning the prestigious Kansas University Relays earlier this season.
“Winning the KU title does come with a lot of pressure, but it helps in pressure situations like state,” said Haik. “Today was definitely a strength heading into next weekend. It helps mentally, knowing I can still pull out a victory despite the heat and wind.”
The junior from Glendale ran for first place in both the 800 and 1600 meter races. Haik conditions with his teammate and best friend Chris Mooneyham, who finished for third place in the 1600M and 3200M.
“I love working with Chris, it’s awesome! Getting to spend the days training with the best competition helps a lot,” said Haik. “We have experienced the same level of competition, so we push each other to the level of pain you would feel in a regular meet.”
Haik’s strategy is simple: work with the people around you, try to hit good splits, and stay in the race mentally.
“I took it out at a decent pace, enough to grab the win and the state bid,” said Haik. “I’m really excited about running at state.”
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